Can you fairly compare Jacob deGrom (6'4", 180) to Tom Seaver (6'1", 195)? At this point or in this era of baseball? I'm not so sure you can for many reasons. One thing is for sure, Seaver was more durable and less fragile injury-wise.
Jacob deGrom is no longer a Mets ace after he signed a 5-year $185 million free-agent deal at age 34. He finishes his Mets career with an 82-57 record with an impressive 2.52 ERA.
In 2022 he made 11 starts in the regular season. He went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA. deGrom walked a mere 8 batters in 64.1 innings to go with 102 strikeouts. He came up small in the final series vs. the Braves in Atlanta at the end of the season and got shelled. He did grind out the Mets' only win in the Wild Card Series at Citi Field vs. the Padres.
Jacob deGrom was a former minor-league Short Stop. Seaver was built more like a pitcher with thick legs. He had a great workout routine that included running for stamina and some weight lifting.
There's no doubt deGrom is likable, well-respected, and can do it all; strikeout batters, go deep in a game, field, and hit. He's a class act who already has won two Cy Young Awards and has led the league in strikeouts and ERA.
However, Seaver did it all as well and got hurt a lot less often. The Hall of Famer also known as "The Franchise" and "Tom Terrific" pitched a lot longer (20 years). deGrom's is in his 8th season. When Seaver pitched throwing 100 mph didn't happen as often. deGrom in 2021 has thrown harder and hit 100 mph more often than in years past and I believe that has to be factored into his injuries/missed starts this season.
In 2021 deGrom's 8th season was not even half completed and he was on his way to earning himself a 3rd Cy Young Award. Or you can say he was the favorite. His incredible 2021 season was going great. He had an amazing ERA of 1.08 and was 7-2. However, after being on the IL multiple times he did not pitch again after the All-Star break.
Seaver won 3 Cy Young Awards and threw one no-hitter in his career with the Reds. deGrom is yet to throw a no-hitter. deGrom led MLB in ERA in 2018 when he finished 10-9 with a 1.70 ERA. Those stats earned him his 2nd Cy Young.
Seaver in his 20-year career with the Mets, Reds, White Sox, and Boston led the league in strikeouts five times. He finished his career with 3640 strikeouts which is the 6th best in MLB history.
Seaver led the league in wins three times. He won 25 games in 1969 the year the Mets won the World Series. Seaver's lowest ERA in any season was 1.76. deGrom's lowest was 1.70 to date.
Seaver for the longest time held the MLB record for consecutive strikeouts in a game with 10 until last season when Aaron Nola of the Phillies matched that feat ironically against the Mets. deGrom this season came close to matching that record but fell one strikeout short.
Seaver's career numbers are stellar: 311-205 with a lifetime ERA of 2.86. He also led the league in strikeouts five times and in ERA three times.
deGrom's career numbers are impressive; 82-57 with a 2.52 ERA and 1573 strikeouts. Obviously, the game has changed since the Seaver days.
deGrom has only thrown 200+ innings three times and Seaver in all of his first eight seasons, but obviously, the game has changed with the use or should say overuse of relievers.
It wouldn't be fair to compare complete games, but it is fair to compare wins (to some extent), losses, and ERA.
What you can compare a bit more accurately are the years Seaver spent with the Mets and project deGrom. Seaver was with the Mets for 13 years. He went 198-124 with a 2.57 ERA and had 2641 strikeouts. No Mets pitcher has won more games than Seaver and he's 1st in Ks.
However, let's see how much longer the 35-year now Texas Ranger starter pitches. Will he pitch into his 40's as Seaver did? Most likely not, unless he stays healthy. Will he win a World Series ring as Seaver did?
You would never see Seaver take himself out of a game as deGrom had done numerous times last season alone. Granted deGrom's reasoning was understandable and justified. It's understood he didn't want to risk further injury and wanted to be cautious for his team's and his career's sake.
Again, the game has changed. There was no MRI back in the Seaver pitching days (1967-1986) and star starters like Seaver often went 8 or 9 innings each start unless they were getting bombed and that was a rarity when Seaver pitched. Back then hardly any manager employed a 100-pitch count.
Sadly Seaver passed away in 2020 at age 75. The Mets renamed their stadium address at Citi Field in Queens to 41 Seaver Way. In 2022 a statue was erected on the Mets' home opener. It's placed just outside of Citi Field.
It's very possible that deGrom may end up in the Hall of Fame. And if he does, he would go in as a New York Met.